The Client


Johnson County Library serves over two million patrons from 14 Library buildings in Northeast Kansas. Their initiatives begin at birth, emphasizing the importance of early literacy, and extend through the years with innovative learning programs, all designed to enhance the community and keep the Library strong for generations.

The Challenge


The Library wanted a way to connect with their patrons, but past attempts at email were unsuccessful. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for an email strategy, as Library branches were closed. The Johnson County Library decision-makers are comprised of three boards, hundreds of community volunteers, more than three hundred employees, and local government. Although they recognized the need for more engagement, based on surveys from patrons, uncertainty about email as an engagement tool persisted. emfluence worked with an email communication task force within the Library to define the optimal approach for engagement and best-in-class protocols for easy unsubscribes.

The Solution


The Johnson County Library launched their “opt-in” campaign in December 2019.  By March 2020, The Open Book launched its first edition, reaching over 150,000 patrons. The email design was intended to be simple and easy to read, so patrons could easily digest and find the information they were looking for, especially while Library branches were closed. The format was broken up into consistent sections, including a main feature, Library Events, Did You Know and Service of the Month to effortlessly guide readers through the content each month.

The Results

Due to the success of The Open Book, emfluence also created four additional newsletters in 2020 – Career & Finance, Kids & Family, Race Project KC and Summer Reading. The Library will continue to improve the process for newsletters and explore opportunities.

The Response

  • 26.5% Open Rate
  • 5.79% Click-to-Open Rate
  • 1,477,567 Open Book Emails Delivered

emfluence Marketing Platform Elements Used

  • Automated and manual email sends
  • Landing pages
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Ready to give it a go?